It’s strange to think that just five days ago I was boarding a plane bound for Sydney to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, as I write this from the comforts of my bed back home in Wellington. As with most trips overseas, it was over all too quickly, and it’s hard not to wish I could go back and relive it all over again, one of those experiences I’m unlikely to forget anytime soon.
My final day in Sydney was fairly relaxed, committing myself only to two shows, the first and the last of the day – two shows that I couldn’t help but get excited about. The first show, ‘New Generation’, was a showcase of seven Australia deginers, and has included cult label Kahlo in the past – reason enough to look forward to the ridiculous talent which ensued. Desert Designs opened the show, a vibrant collection of which the historical and aboriginal influences were instantly recognisable. Injecting a bit of theatre, the final model moved down the runway in what would best be described as a tribal dance; not only was it original, it showcased the movement and flexibility of the clothing.
Jessica Faddoul’s eponymous label followed, her effortless and feminine collection juxtaposing the more extreme pieces of DD. Being the compulsive shopper I am, it was hard to stop myself from compiling a wishlist as each piece, incredibly wearable in both light and dark tones with smatterings of florals, emerged on the runway. A designer to watch, and one whose work I look forward to seeing more of.
Having met with designers Natalie & Sarah on Wednesday afternoon, I found myself heavily anticipating seeing their collection grace the runway. Sweet, fun, and energetic, their personalities are equally represented through their designs, their fabric choices, and in the finer details such as the addition of spiked studs to jackets and dresses, and silver reflective buttons that catch your eye in the light. Jumping straight from the Paddington Markets to Fashion Week, These girls have such a fantastic energy about them and ridiculous talent, which I can see taking them a long long way.
At the other end of the spectrum, Tristan Melle’s collection was pared back, a subtle elegance which can only be attributed to his experience in the fashion industry, spanning across twelve years working for both high end and high street designers. This comes through in the strength of his designs, ranging from a well cut pant suit, to an ostrich feather trimmed dress, a combination of sophistication and playfulness.
Influenced by his interior design backgroud, Jamie Ashkar’s work is visibly architectural, combining fluid lines with geometric shapes, a pool of innovation. Clearly, Ashkar sure knows how to cut a pant suit, which moved so smoothly down the runway with elements such as the zipper cut out details on the jackets adding another layer of appeal.
The Letter Q embodied the dark and light, with designer Doris Qiu opting for a minimal colour palette of black, white and grey, placing the focus on embellishments and draping of each garment. Lace panels, laser-cut leather, and pleating were prominent, with a gothic spiked beaded detailing on the arms of jackets quickly prompting a double take.
A lengthy opening sequence introduced designer Betty Tran, and set the tone of a collection for the modern woman, confident and strong, with a sophisticated air about her. Feminine and elegant, Tran’s strong use of silks and stretch fabrics were combined with lace in rich and colorful hues.
Last but definitely not least of the New Gen designers was Zhivago, where bondage appeared to have a heavy influence. Dresses included details that appeared to mimic the appearance of a garter belt, to a cut out panel which clung to the leg as each model walked.